Developing Faces is scheduled to take another surgical mission to Guatemala in March 2020. (Update: The date has been changed from January to March since getting papers cleared took longer than expected) We are sincerely grateful for all of our generous donors that make it possible to continue our mission to provide high quality surgical care to babies and children with facial abnormalities living in developing countries around the world. We are also grateful for the gracious welcome we receive by the wonderful families living in Guatemala. The interactions each team member has had with the community has been an extremely positive and warm experience. Their sincere gratitude and graciousness, in combination with their significant need for advanced surgical care, is the reason why our team continues to return to Guatemala.
We are pleased to announce that the Developing Faces team will be returning to Hospital Ángeles, the hospital in Guatemala City that has welcomed us during our last two missions, in March of 2020. The first day of the mission will be used to evaluate and screen the surgical candidates for the week. The rest of the week will then be used to operate and provide post operative care. We are excited to announce that Dr. Catherine Mazzola will be joining the team for the 2020 mission. Dr. Mazzola is an experienced pediatric neurosurgeon who practices in Hackensack and Morristown, New Jersey. Having Dr. Mazzola on our team now allows us to provide an even higher level of surgical care and to include babies and children with craniosynostisis, spina bifida, frontal encephaloceles and hydrocephalus. These complex conditions greatly hinder a child’s ability to live a normal life if they are not surgically corrected, especially in cases where the brain is unable to grow properly.
During all of our surgical missions, the Developing Faces team spends a significant amount of time educating parents and children about health related issues including the importance of dental hygiene and proper nutrition. Each parent and child that comes to the hospital seeking medical attention will be given a toothbrush and toothpaste with a small pamphlet describing the lifelong benefits of dental care. They will also be provided with an educational pamphlet they can use as a guideline to improve their nutritional intake. We encourage them to share this information with their friends and family with the goal of improving the overall health and quality of life in Guatemala.